Research banner

Anthony De Jesús

Anthony De Jesús Anthony (Tony) De Jesús a Researcher in Education Policy since 2003 became Interim Director of Centro on March 1, 2005, when Félix Matos Rodríguez took a leave of absence to work as a special advisor to Governor Anibal Acevedo Vila of Puerto Rico.

Born and raised in the Bronx, De Jesús has considerable experience working as a practitioner and researcher in urban schools, community based organizations, and institutions of higher education. His research and teaching has focused primarily on addressing the social and cultural barriers which prevent Latino students from accessing post secondary educational experiences and successfully transitioning to higher education. As an instructor of undergraduate and graduate students at public and private colleges and universities, his teaching emphasis has been in the areas of critical pedagogy, multicultural education, teacher research, and the sociology of education. De Jesús received a bachelor's degree in social work from Dominican College (NY) in 1989 completing an undergraduate minor in Puerto Rican studies at Lehman College in 1987. Upon receiving a master's degree in social work from Boston University in 1990, he began a six year career as a school social worker in Boston, initially working at McKinley Technical High School (a special education setting) and later with the Healthy Transitions/Healthy Futures program; a Kellogg funded youth and career development project that became the prototype for one of the first pilot schools in Boston the Health Careers Academy (HCA).

During this period he also co-led a boys group for Latino and African American adolescents at the South End Community Health Center and was an active member and president of the board of Sociedad Latina, a community based, Latino youth development organization. As a member of the HCA planning team, De Jesús became interested in studying school reform and alternatives to traditional schooling for Latino and African American students and was awarded a community fellowship (Community Fellows Program) in the department of urban studies and planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As a community fellow he studied community development, the relationship between advanced technologies and low income communities and the sociology of education (at the Harvard Graduate School of Education) and was accepted at Harvard, receiving a master's in education in 1997 and a doctorate in education with a specialization in administration, planning and social policy in 2003. During the 1999 calendar year, De Jesús was a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley working with Professor Pedro Noguera and his diversity project at Berkeley High School.

In 2000, he returned to New York City to work on a research project sponsored by the Centro which became the basis of his dissertation "The Paradox of Promise at a Latino Community High School." This ethnographic case study of El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice examined the experiences of students within the history and political economy of the South Side of Williamsburg, Brooklyn (also known as Los Sures) and its findings emphasize the importance of educational projects initiated by Latino and immigrant communities. The study reveals the ways in which marginalized Latino and African American students experienced the school's innovative curriculum, graduating and attending college at higher rates than comparable students in neighboring schools. The study also examines the ways that external forces, particularly educational standardization and neighborhood gentrification constrain the school's ability to practice educational self-determination.

Dr. De Jesús is the recipient of numerous awards including the Nation Puerto Rican Day Heritage Award (2005), the Harvard Graduate School of Education Alumni of Color Conference Achievement Award (2005), and the Hubie Jones Urban Service Award of the Boston University School of Social Work (2004).

Selected Publications

De Jesús, Anthony (2005) Theoretical Perspectives on the Underachievement of Latino Students in US Schools: Toward a Framework for Culturally Additive Schooling. In Pedraza, Pedro & Rivera, Melissa (Eds.), Latino education. An agenda for community action research. Mahwah, N.J. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates De Jesús, Anthony (2005). Loisaida. In Ilan Stavans (Ed.) The Encyclopedia Latina: History, Culture, Society. Danbury, CT, Grolier Publishers.

De Jesús, Anthony (2005). Los Tres Reyes Magos. In Ilan Stavans (Ed.) The Encyclopedia Latina: History, Culture, Society. Danbury, CT, Grolier Publishers.

De Jesús, Anthony (2003). "Here it's More like your House:" The Proliferation of Authentic Caring as School Reform at El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice. In Rubin, Beth & Silva, Elena (Eds.), Critical Voices: Students Living School Reform. London: Routledge Falmer.

De Jesús, Anthony (2001) Review of Subtractive Schooling: U.S.-Mexican Youth and the Politics of Caring by Angela Valenzuela. In Harvard Educational Review, Fall 2001

De Jesús, Anthony (1998) Implicit Protest on Urban Battlegrounds: The X-men the Greater Egleston Coalition and the Establishment of the Greater Egleston Community High School. Working Paper. Comm-Org Website.